The Bank Windhoek 2024 Chess Grand Prix kicks off in Okahandja

The Bank Windhoek 2024 Chess Grand Prix kicks off in Okahandja

In a historic moment for Namibian chess, the Bank Windhoek Grand Prix recently kicked off its ground-breaking International Chess Federation (FIDE) Rated Town Opens with the Okahandja Open. Hosted by Okahandja Secondary School, the event saw a vibrant gathering of 40 participants from diverse backgrounds and skill levels, setting the stage for an exciting series that promises to reshape the chess landscape in Namibia. Introducing FIDE rating​s added an international flavour to the competition, allowing participants to establish their presence on the global chess stage.


The President of the Namibia Chess Federation, Goodwill Khoa, said that the Okahandja Open was more than just a chess tournament. “It was a declaration of chess's growing influence and inclusivity in Namibia. The top ten games from the event were meticulously recorded, providing players with a tangible record of their strategic triumphs and the opportunity to analyse and learn from their matches,” he said.


One of the standout features of the Okahandja Open was the remarkable performance of local players who displayed exceptional skills by defeating seasoned players and even FIDE-rated opponents. Khoa said this underscored the depth of talent in regions beyond the capital, Windhoek, and demonstrated that Namibia's chess prowess is not confined to a specific geographical area.


The success of the Okahandja Open marked the commencement of the 18-leg Towns/City Open. This series will unfold in selected locations across Namibia on specified dates. “This ambitious initiative by Bank Windhoek is set to engage and inspire chess enthusiasts in various regions, fostering a sense of healthy competition and collaboration,” said Khoa.


The Bank Windhoek Grand Prix is not just a series of standalone tournaments. This comprehensive chess journey allows players to accumulate points throughout the year. Players can earn points by participating in the Town Opens, contributing to their standing in the Grand Prix Series. “The ultimate reward awaits at the end of the year when the Grand Prix Series concludes, and the overall winners are celebrated for their outstanding performances,” said Khoa.


As the Grand Prix unfolds across Namibia, each town and city will become a chess battleground, and players will have the chance to leave an indelible mark on the country's chess legacy. “The Okahandja Open was just the beginning – a prelude to the grand symphony of chess that will resonate across Namibia through the Bank Windhoek Grand Prix,” concluded Khoa.


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